Art Inspiration: Imagine The Impossible: Steampunk Man 01 (The Captain)    


‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ Aristotle

‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Albert Einstein

Inspiration and Imagination, something every artist needs and is elusive as an island of tranquility in a sea of chaos. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people.

A prime example is when I drew the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures for their Christmas Cards. It took quit a while to create the caricatures but once the staff received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

 

Steampunk Man 01 (The Captain)

The last caricature of “Imagine the Impossible” is, me. After creating all the staff caricatures I also had to create mine. Yet I had already created one and I could not improve on what I had already created. I had created it as character in a story I had started about a year earlier, The Captain and the Baroness.

This is a story I created for someone special as a birthday present, but I decided to continue the story line. I was going through some difficult issues at the time and indulging in my creative side helped me through it. The story was loosely reflecting the issues in my own life and when I wrote chapter three I was going through a lot of changes in my life. Therefore I decided to change the look of the ‘The Captain’ character in the story. The original character was my caricature of myself dressed as a pirate, aka Jack Sparrow. So I changed the look of the character and my new caricature was created.

I began by basing his outfit with that of a naval officer during the Victorian Era. He is a captain after all so it made sense. I drew him with grey pants and vest, a royal blue jacket overcoat with gold trim and a white pouf shirt. I added a royal blue Ascot tie and black riding boots. This caricature is in the Steampunk style; therefore I drew two holsters with side arms.   I added a small dagger to his right and a sabre on the left with a couple of belts. If you look closely, the sabre guard has an inverted engraved image on it, a falcon. I am Maltese and adding a falcon created the idea that my caricature is the Maltese Falcon. The last touch on the outfit was a pocket watch hanging from his belt. It makes sense; a captain needs a watch to help navigate. The hair, beard and mustache (Van Dyke), were very similar to my hair beard and mustache I had grown at the time. The only thing I added from the previous images of ‘The Captain’ is the out stretched arm with the caricature holding a falcon. Along the same lines as the idea of my caricature being the Maltese Falcon.

The staff did not see this caricature until the final group portrait and they all loved it. Yet I did tell them that I did create this caricature as a character in a story I wrote. If you want to see and read the chapters I posted you can click on the link below.

 

“The Captain and the Baroness”

In the next few weeks I will post the final group portraits with all the caricatures in it. I hope you too will enjoy the nineteenth and final Steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

Steampunk Man – a.k.a. The Captain

 

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Friday Two Cents: A Calming, Spot Of Tea


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I believe many of you with children probably don’t give them tea as a beverage of choice.  Mostly you would offer them milk, juice or water as a regular beverage and they would probably ask for one of these as a normal drink.  However, have you ever tried offering them a spot of tea?

Being Maltese, I was raised by parents who are very British in their manner, and a cup of tea was a staple at many meals in my house hold.  We also had tea time a 4 o’clock with biscuits or other finger foods.  At these moments, it was a time for conversation and polite discord, on whatever subject that would arise.

Therefore, today I decided to have a tea party with the children at the school and see what would happen.  Our theme this week was Mythology and I told them a tale from Classic, Norse or Celtic Myth each day.  Today I would tell them about the Arthur legend and then in proper English fashion have a cup of tea after.

We sat and I told them about the Arthur legend and the only word that can describe their reaction was ‘amazement’.  After, we had our tea party.  I had several pots of tea available as well as different cookies/biscuits and chocolate treats for them.  I was expecting them to be a little unruly but to my pleasant surprise they were all well-behaved, dare I say civilized.  They took their tea, a cookie and treat and sat down and had wonderful conversations with each other.

The room was an activity of pleasant conversations and they were all engaged.  I even grabbed a cup and biscuit and joined in on their conversations.  This might sound a bit sexist but I expected the girls to behave themselves, however the boys were as well.  The entire experience was enjoyable for everyone involved.

However the biggest surprise was after they had their tea. The children went off to different activities, but they were all very calm and engaged.  Perhaps the tea party helped to mellow them out a bit.  I am not sure, but the rest of the afternoon was quiet and pleasurable.

Maybe the tea had a calming down effect or the whole activity of sitting and enjoying each other’s company did it.  What ever it was maybe we all need, children and adults, an opportunity to sit and just have a spot of tea.

Friday Two Cents: Family makes the world make sense


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With five days to Christmas, many people are thinking about shopping for Christmas parties and buying gifts for loved ones and friends.  But the past week has made me think about what is truly important during this holiday season.

I will confide with you that I was not looking forward to Christmas this year.  The past few months have been very trying to say the lest.  It seemed that I was going from one terrible situation to another.

First off, I broke up with someone.  This was hard and it took me some time to reflect and try to come to terms with my feelings and what happened.  Add to the mix my mother was recovering from knee-replacement surgery and they found a blood clot that they had to treat (it is gone now thank goodness).  Then my parents get re-ended, no one got hurt but they had to get rid of the car and have to go through the trouble of insurance and a replacement vehicle.  Likewise, I had trouble at work with the looming labour troubles, problems with the children and co-workers.  Then to top it all off I was taking two online university courses that taxed me to my limits.

Every week something new reared it ugly head and there were times I just wanted to quit and just crawl into a hole.  But I kept saying to myself, ‘It will get better, it has to’.  So I pressed on and did my best to just survive one day at a time.

It was like that until last Saturday when I went to my family’s annual Christmas party.  Now my family is a typical Maltese family, loud, lively, funny and BIG.  We have some 60+ members here in Canada and we cannot have it at someone’s home, so we meet at a hall for dinner, games and boisterous conversations.

So right when I walk in, I am inundated by my family and you cannot help but feel loved.  My cousins, aunts and uncles have nothing but smiles on their faces and I start to smile too.  Then after a few games, conversations, dinner, more games and some more lively conversations, I forget about any troubles I might have brought in with me and I left feeling ten thousand times better.

After that night with my family I realized something important that I had forgotten.

When things are looking down and the world does not make any sense, all you need is your family to let you know that you are loved. Then you realize that things will be all right in your life and the world too. 

Hold your family close everyone and have a Merry Christmas.

Ailish Sinclair

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